I started reading Where the Truth Lies by Rupert Holmes, then put it down when my Amazon shipment came containing the much anticipated Cocaine Blues by Kerry Greenwood, and then, miracle of miracles, I did not move on to another book, but picked up Where the Truth Lies and finished it. Not that it suprised me all that much, actually, the book is pretty dang compelling and I wanted to know how it ended.
It’s the story of a young reporter in the 70s who is looking into a dark day in the life of a comedy team veeeeery similar to Dean Martin and Jerry Lewis. They’d just finished a polio telethon in Miami (told ya they were like Dean and Jerry), and flown straight to New Jersey for a casino opening. When they got to the hotel (in New Jersey) there was a dead girl in their hotel room bathtub. The problem? She was a room service girl from their hotel in Miami. They both knew her, but both had alibis for the time she’d been murdered– they’d been on TV or on a plane. So what happened? Our journalist makes it her purpose to find out as she sets out to write a book about that night with Vince Collins (the Dean character). Lanny (the Jerry character), who hasn’t spoken to Vince since after that night, is trying to dissuade her from pursuing the issue, and things get complicated when she meets him and pretends to be someone else. As she investigates further she realizes that things aren’t always what they seem (are they ever in these things?) and ultimately comes to the truth of what happened.
The end is a suprise in the “how could we have known that” vein, but that’s ok. The eye-rolling part is in the final conclusion, which was just too pat and somewhat cheesy for me. But the writing on the whole is very evocative of time and place, the Lanny and Vince characters made me want to read more about Jerry and Dean, and it was a good read. Some gratuitous sex, but what can you do. (The actual scenes were there for a reason, but the descriptions were a little over the top.)
Cocaine Blues was just as excellent as I’d hoped. Poison Pen Press is reprinting Australian Kerry Greenwood’s series, and I’m so happy. I love these books. (I’ve only read those that have been reprinted, but I’m addicted to them now.) They’re not printing them in order, however, which is a little weird, but whatever. Cocaine Blues is actually the first in the series, (from what I can tell), and it sets up nicely the reason why Phryne Fisher becomes a detective as well as introduces some reoccuring characters. It’s interesting to see how they all first met, and I look forward to rereading them in order. The mystery is a good one, and even though I kind of figured out what was going on part way through, I still didn’t have all the pieces put together correctly.
Phryne is sent to investigate a young woman on behest of her parents, who believe her husband is poisoning her. As Phryne gets closer to her, she also gets drawn into two side investigations dealing with a brutal abortionist and a cocaine ring. All the plots wind together as the mystery continues, and of course, Phryne sorts out all the strings and comes away with order and justice for all. Or at least some.
Now I’m reading The Rachel Papers by Martin Amis, because I saw his books at the library and realised I’d never read anything of his, and that seemed wrong somehow. The book is good so far, it will be interesting to see where it goes.
Current total: 37
Just finished: Where the Truth Lies by Rupert Holmes
Currently reading: The Rachel Papers by Martin Amis